Intel, other chipmakers boost lobbying spend to get CHIPS Act passed

How much did Intel fork out last quarter? Records were broken

Intel is expanding its lobbying spend as it tries to convince the US government to pass the CHIPS Act, which would open $52 billion in funding to boost chip production in the US.

The chipmaking giant spent $1.75 million on federal lobbying during Q2 of 2022, which represents a notable percentage increase compared with the same period last year when it spent approximately $1 million.

The previous highest sum spent by Intel was apparently $1.43 million, and that was during opening three months of this year.

Intel’s latest lobby spend was revealed in a disclosure filing released this week, but the company is far from the only one in the semiconductor industry that has been doing this. Bloomberg reckons chipmakers have so far spent a total of $19.6 million in federal lobbying during the first half of this year.

At the heart of all this is the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act, which promises to push $52 billion in aid to the semiconductor industry, including $39 billion to subsidize new chip fabrication plants, so long as these are built on US soil.

The CHIPS Act is part of a larger United States Innovation and Competition Act that started its passage through Congress last year, but the semiconductor industry is keen to ensure the CHIPS Act funding is treated with some urgency and passed separately, if necessary.

The US Senate this week voted 64-34 in favor of a motion that would bring this a step closer.

Last month, Intel threatened to delay construction of a $20 billion mega-fab site in Ohio in protest at delays in passing the bill, but this turned out to be largely bluster and the company only delayed the ceremony while the start date for construction did not change.

GlobalFoundries also added its voice to lobbying fray pushing for the CHIPS Act to be passed. The company said it may delay construction of a planned semiconductor factory in New York state if the bill fails to pass in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, it isn’t only chipmakers that are bumping up the amount spent on lobbying in Washington. Amazon also spent a record $4.98 million on lobbying during the second quarter of this year, Bloomberg says. In this case, it appears that the increase is because of proposed legislation that would prohibit large technology companies from using their platforms to disadvantage competitors ®

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